Fox News was cited for “discovery misconduct” by a judge in a $1.6 billion defamation case filed by Dominion Voting Systems after he learned that recorded conversations with former President Donald Trump’s lawyers were not allowed into evidence. was changed.
A potentially significant revelation that such tapes exist — which could affect the upcoming trial — came to light in an amended legal complaint filed Tuesday by Abby Grossberg, who served as producer for Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo.
Grossberg is suing the network for discrimination and wrongful termination.
A portion of the tape was played by Dominion Attorney Davida Brooke during a pretrial hearing in Delaware on Thursday. Superior Court Judge Eric Davis said the recording was in evidence and reprimanded Fox News attorneys for hiding information. Davis said he is also considering appointing a special master to determine whether other relevant material has been withheld.
Dominion could also make another statement with Fox News picking up the tab.
Fox News had no comment on the judge’s decision. The company had earlier said it complied with discovery obligations in the case.
Davis recently filed a report from NPR, which said that Fox News chief political anchor Brett Baier had appointed a special master to fact-check and debunk claims of voter fraud spread by other programs on the network. had proposed. According to the report, the idea was not considered, but there is no document in evidence to show that it was discussed.
Fox News and Dominion are going to trial on Monday. A jury will be asked to decide whether the network acted with malice when it presented false allegations in the months leading up to the 2020 election when Trump cited false claims of voter fraud as a reason for his loss to President Biden. were promoting.
Grossberg said the taped conversation with Trump aide Rudy Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell occurred before they appeared on the November 15, 2020, edition of Bartiromo’s program “Sunday Morning Futures”, where the legal pair discussed voter fraud perpetrated by Trump. made false statements regarding the claims of In a conversation, Giuliani acknowledged that he had little evidence to support the claims discussed on the program.
Giuliani is a target of a Georgia criminal investigation into possible illegal efforts by Trump and others to interfere in the 2020 general election in the state where Biden won by a narrow margin. The former New York City mayor has denied any wrongdoing.
Grossberg said the recording was on her mobile phone, which was taken by Fox News lawyers in order to submit her texts and emails as evidence before her deposition testimony last year. Her complaint states that the conversations were not included because they would harm the network’s defense in the case.
“Fox News knew that these recordings went against its interests in connection with the claims in the Dominion lawsuit, particularly with respect to proving actual malice, and therefore, on information and belief, intentionally or recklessly withheld and/or or failed to produce this harmful finding,” the court filing said.
Grossberg’s complaint, originally filed on March 20, cited a recording made on or about November 15, 2020, where Giuliani confided in Bartiromo that the Trump campaign did something regarding Dominion. Could not prove the allegations. Giuliani and Powell went on “Sunday Morning Futures” where they said the company’s machine used software that manipulated votes to rig the election of President Biden.
The filing states that in the same recording, Bartiromo also interrogated Powell before taping an interview for the program.
“What’s the most important and most compelling thing that you would like — that you could get out this morning? Tell me. We’re not rolling yet,” Bartiromo said.
Powell did not summarize anything, and Bartiromo did not press him further.
Grossberg’s phone call also included a conversation with a Trump campaign official who said there was no evidence that there was a problem with the voting machines in Georgia. The official urged Bartiromo to discuss the January 6, 2021 vote by Congress to certify the election and how it was the last chance to reverse the result in Trump’s favor.
The vote, scheduled for January 6, was disrupted by rioting Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol. Davis ruled Tuesday that Dominion’s attorneys could not discuss the rebellion in their presentation.
According to the complaint, the conversation took place in front of a control room full of staffers and David Clarke, the Fox News executive in charge of Bartiromo’s program at the time.
Grossberg, who most recently worked for Fox News’ show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” was fired by Fox News after she filed her lawsuit. The company said it was free to pursue a legal claim but was in possession of privileged information and was not authorized to disclose it publicly. Once he made his case, his employment was terminated.